Silicon Labs Offices – Austin

  • Client Silicon Labs,
  • size 68,945 sqft
  • Year 2019
  • Location Austin, Texas, United States,
  • Industry Hardware / Software Development, Technology,
  • Gensler has reinvented a sense of space at the headquarters of Silicon Labs, a hardware manufacturing company located in Austin, Texas.

    The Silicon Labs headquarters spans two buildings at 200 and 400 West Cesar Chavez St. in downtown Austin. After spending more than 10 years in the space, the company set out to reinvent their office environment, hoping to create a workplace that highlights their company culture and fosters connectivity and collaboration for their 650 local employees.

    Gensler began the interior design process with the reprogramming of various spaces, which included conducting ratio studies in a variety of balances of open-to-closed spaces and exploring the implications each configuration had on circulation, workflows, and overall efficiency. The studies also showed that by deviating from their existing layout – with mostly closed work stations laid out in rows of offices – to adopting a more open arrangement, Silicon Labs could accommodate anticipated staff growth within the same square footage. The new open layout allocates space for focus work and group work, and provides flexible rooms that can be easily rearranged as employees shift between work modes throughout the day. Employees have the freedom to self-curate their day and choose their workstation from the wide variety of unassigned seating options.

    The new space is tied together by a monumental central floating stair, custom manufactured from steel. The staircase connects the three levels of the work environment by creating a vertical destination point where all employees come together to circulate through the building, providing opportunities for spontaneous interactions and cross-pollination of ideas. The sleek and striking combination of metal and concrete throughout the staircase also creates visual interest to draw employees through the space.

    On the second floor, a hospitality-inspired “living room” with lounge seating offers an inviting environment for guests and encourages employee socialization. Large open space can be used as a venue for co-working and events, and meeting spaces can accommodate large crowds for networking and presentations. The central core of the third floor holds amenities for all employees to share and serves as a gathering space for casual meetings or collaboration. The break area provides gourmet coffee, snacks, and a selection of beverages.

    Throughout the space, modern design elements showcase the company’s technology-driven culture through bold expressions of the Silicon Labs brand. The large work café and exhibit spaces include eye-catching light fixtures, wall coverings, and waterfall marble countertops. Glass walls lining the conference spaces create visibility to the company’s technology, labs, and work processes. Being in Austin – and located just a few steps from Lady Bird Lake – a key addition to the space was a connection to the outdoors. Balconies were added to the second and third levels of 400 W. Cesar Chavez, providing employees with the option to enjoy city and lake views while they work.

    Photography: Elena Grey